Tree City USA

Tree City USA Standards

An Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation

This is the least challenging and probably the most enjoyable standard to accomplish. An Arbor Day celebration can be simple and brief or an all-day or all-week observation. It can be a simple tree planting event or an award ceremony that honors leading tree planters. For children, Arbor Day may be their only exposure to the green world or a springboard to discussions about the complex issue of environmental quality.

The benefits of Arbor Day go far beyond the shade and beauty of new trees for the next generation. Arbor Day is a golden opportunity for publicity and to educate homeowners about proper tree care. Utility companies can join in to promote planting small trees beneath power lines or being careful when digging. Smokey Bear’s fire prevention messages can be worked into the event, as can conservation education about soil erosion or the need to protect wildlife habitat.

Still another way to develop Arbor Day is to link it with a tree-related festival. Some that are currently celebrated include dogwood festivals, locust blossom festivals and Macon, Georgia’s Cherry Blossom Festival that annually brings more than $4.25 million into the local economy. In meeting the four standards, help is available! The urban and community forestry coordinator in your state forester’s office will be happy to work with communities in taking these first steps toward better community forestry.

The Four Standards of Tree City USA

  1. A Tree Board or Department

  2. A Tree Care Ordinance

  3. A Community Forestry Program With an AnnualBudget of at Least $2 Per Capita

  4. An Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation